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CMS to survey employers on retiree funds

Posted On: Nov. 20, 2011 12:00 AM CST

WASHINGTON—The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says it will survey employers and other early retiree health care plan sponsors on how they used money provided under a federal program.

Under the $5 billion Early Retiree Reinsurance Program set up as part of the health care reform law, approved plan sponsors have received partial reimbursement of claims they have paid.

That survey is required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which requires the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a mechanism “to monitor the appropriate use of the funds.”

Under the ERRP, the government reimburses employers and other early retiree health care plan sponsors for a portion of medical claims filed after June 1, 2010, by retirees and their covered dependents, as long as the retiree is at least 55 years old and not eligible for Medicare.

In general, the reimbursement must be used to reduce employers' and/or retirees' health care costs.